My first attempt at Afro Marley Twists

Time to try something new while I enjoy this awkward stage.   I decided to try a two strand twist style using Afro Marley synthetic hair.   I have not braided my own hair in about 7 years, so I did not want to invest in something expensive since this would be a trial run.   I was not sure if my hair would be long enough to grab but I thought why not give it a try.  It was more difficult than I expected.


The first half hour was spent trying to get a smooth transition from my hair to the extension and figuring out how to get the twists to stay.  My hair is short (almost 2 inches) and the ends are blunt so the braid seem to unravel at the transition point where my hair ends and the extension continues.  I have not learned the technique to make the twists look neat.  Some twists unravel and others don’t.  Some twists are defined and well others are not.  I am not sure how long these twists will stay in.  Let’s see if it can last at least 4 weeks.

Lessons Learned:

Use a hair color that matches my own to help blend the transition between my hair and the extension.

Make smaller sections when braiding to help the braid last longer.

Use more hair.  I purchased and used 3 packs of hair.  I think I would have been more comfortable and not panic as much while I was doing my hair if I had more packs.

I am glad I used a kinky texture hair that matched the texture of my own.  The course texture of the synthetic hair helped to grab my short hair when beginning the braid.  I sure hope it does not pull my hair out in the end.

Prep Time:

The night before I did the install, I deep conditioned my hair and kept it in overnight. The next morning I washed my hair with conditioner and finished with a leave in conditioner.

So here are some pictures of my first attempt.  It looks much better when pulled into a ponytail versus loose.

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

Afro Marley Twists done on 7/18/13

I hope you can see how the back is not blended well.

Back view of hair pulled up

Back view of hair pulled up

I was inspired by the high buns I see on bloggers pages and basically everywhere I go.

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Peri-menopause and changes in hair texture

This year I noticed that I have not been myself.  I am more irritable; have sudden mood changes; I have gained weight; I have experienced brain fog; insomnia; loss of libido and yes even a bout of depression.  I was talking with my sister and she pointed out to me that I am going through peri-menopause.  UGH!  Please not that I cried!  So I started to do my research and found that fluctuating hormones levels can wreck havoc on our hair texture and thickness.

Before I did the big chop, my hair lost its body and shine.  It thinned out and dried out as well.  That was my push to cut it off and grow it back healthy.  I thought this change was due to over processing and stress.   When I first cut my hair off it started to grow back wiry and coarse.  My family did not take well to my big chop and called me Brillo top.  I use hair masks and deep conditioners to help soften my hair texture.  I am beginning to notice a difference.   Now I am positive that my hormones also contributed to the change in my hair.

The transition –

The transition into menopause can be fearful, exciting and daunting just like doing a big chop or transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair.  Menopause is a time when our body is designed to take a pause.  It also coincides with my decision to take a pause when it comes to my hair.  Is this a coincidence?  There are times when I feel overwhelmed by the fear of the unknown.  What will my hair texture be?  UNKNOWN.  How long will it take before I could put my hair in an bun?  UNKNOWN  When will the mood swings be over?  UNKNOWN  Are you getting my point?  This situation is taxing for a person that must know the ending of a story before she decides to read a book!

Self-discovery –

This is a time for self discovery and to learn something new about myself.  I chose to embrace this journey and not to fight against it.  I am learning what works for another person may not work for me.  It is time to let go of the expectations and stop comparing myself to others.  My hair is just that…my hair. I am learning to ask questions and find places where I can feel accepted while I figure this hair thing out. (That is why I am here)  Reading your blogs and articles comforts me in knowing I am not alone in my journey and others have paved the way from confusion to clarity.

Yet still, going through the awkward stage is quite challenging.  There are days when I feel confident and others when I want to crawl under and rock and die.  I recently experienced a breakdown and ran to the beauty supply store, purchased a texturizer and did a horrible job at attempting to put it in my hair.  What triggered that insane moment, my hair or my hormones?

Surrender and Embrace–

Yes, I do mean surrender.  They say patience is a virtue.  It may take a while before I learn my real hair texture and I chose to accept that.  Reasons why (a) I put a chemical in my hair (b) my hormone levels are changing and this can change the texture and thickness of my hair as well.

If you are in your 40’s, like  I am, and experiencing similar symptoms, please learn from my mistake and don’t make permanent and drastic changes to your hair when you are in panic mode because your hair does not seem to be behaving the way you think it should.  It could just be your hormones wrecking havoc on your hair and your emotions.  Treat your hair with the tenderness and care it deserves during this stage in your life.  Treat yourself with the tenderness and care you deserve ALWAYS!

At this stage of our life, having a hair goal is really important to stay focused on our goals.  Don’t be afraid to share the crazy moments like I just did.  You never know, we may save a few hair strands along the way.

This advice is coming from an all around newbie.  A first time blogger, a newly natural (I am not sure if I am considered a natural after my texturizer stunt) and now a newbie entering the dreaded menopause stage.  Embrace the change!

So world, I am curious, what are your thoughts on this?  How has your hair changed during this stage of your life and can you offer any suggestions to help me through this stage as well.

Thanks for reading.




Hello Everyone

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Wanda and I am on my journey to becoming Naturallyme.  On January 31, 2013 I decided to do the big chop and cut my hair off.  (Sorry I can’t find the picture.) It was dry, damaged and thinning badly.   I did this for me. I was turning 45 in June, and, I was committed to begin the next stage of my life working on me.  Self love is a beautiful thing but not always easy.  There is a saying “Life isn’t about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”  Author unknown.


My goal in January was simple.

a)     Restore my hair to a healthy state.

b)    Learn how to take care of my hair.

c)     Embrace self love!

I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster ride that followed.  I have so many questions and so much to say on Self Acceptance and finding the courage to identify what “Natural” means to me.  I look forward to sharing my journey with all of you.

These pictures were taken May 28, 2013.